Written by Avery Samuels, Reviewed by Dr. Justin Harper, MD
If you keep up with the latest skin care trends, you’ve probably heard of Microneedling. It is one of the hottest treatments in skin care right now, and for good reason. This minimally-invasive procedure delivers tiny needle punctures to the skin, creating a controlled injury which causes the skin to build new collagen and elastin as the injury heals.
Microneedling creates tighter, smoother skin and can dramatically improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, fine lines. The tone and texture of the face is smoothed and brightened.
When we discuss this treatment with our clients, they are often apprehensive and full of questions. Does it hurt? Will it really work? Here are the most common myths about Microneedling.
Myth #1: It Hurts!
When we explain that the treatment involves creating thousands of tiny needle punctures in the skin, our patients instantly think it must be painful. This is the most common reason clients hold off on receiving this fantastic treatment.
Prior to treating the skin, we apply a topical numbing cream and let the patient relax. When it comes time for the treatment, the cream has done its job and the patient feels little to no sensation at all! In fact, patients are often surprised by how painless the procedure is and tell us they wish they had decided to do it sooner.
Myth #2: There is too much downtime!
Very few patients have the luxury of taking time out of their busy lives to recover from a procedure. Microneedling is ideal for patients who want a resurfacing treatment with minimal down-time.
However, smoother, tighter skin doesn’t come without a healing period! While every patient heals differently, typically we see about 2 days of moderate redness, equivalent to a sunburn, in which the patient “lays low” while the healing process begins.
For those first 48 hours, the patient should only apply a moisturizing cream and should avoid makeup. After those first 2 days, most of the redness, along with any minor swelling, peeling, or pinpoint bruising will have subsided and makeup can be applied.
Then skin starts looking more vibrant almost immediately. Usually by the time the patient returns for their second treatment (4-6 weeks later), we can already see visible results from their first session!
Myth #3: It isn’t safe!
One of the biggest appeals of Microneedling is that it is super effective for effective skin resurfacing that is very safe. Some of the more ablative resurfacing treatments completely remove the top layer of skin and can take more than 2 weeks to heal, which means an increased risk of scarring, infection, and permanent discoloration. Plus, many lasers are not as effective on darker skin tones.
Microneedling, on the other hand, can be performed safely on light or dark skin. The tiny punctures created during a Microneedling treatment close very quickly, which means less downtime and risk for complications. However, you should always discuss potential side effects with your provider.
Myth #4: My “at home” device works just as well!
Many patients who visit our office have have seen or even purchased “at home” Microneedling devices or dermal rollers. These devices promise the same great results as the in-office treatment, at a fraction of the cost.
The claims sound promising, but unfortunately the devices sold for at home use don’t measure up to the in-office treatment. At home devices have a very short needle, which is why they are virtually painless and do not require numbing cream. This also means that they are not penetrating the skin deep enough to produce new collagen and elastin, and won’t tighten the skin, reduce fine lines, or improve scars.
So you can roll all you want, but you can’t hope for much more than stronger arm muscles! Furthermore, we often hear of patients using the same device over and over, which means it is not sterile.
If you are interested in Microneedling, do yourself a favor and please see a trained professional who can ensure a safer, more pleasant, and much more effective treatment.